Leaders unite to condemn Theresa May's absence — BBC debate

Although Labour continues to trail in the polls, the party has been closing the gap over the last week and Corbyn will seek to press on by taking part in a seven-way TV debate tonight on the BBC.

"None of us vote for the Prime Minister and I think for a lot of people their minds will be focused on who they want as their local MP", said Mr Jarvis, who a year ago warned that Labour faced annihilation at the polls if Mr Corbyn was re-elected as party leader.

"There is a debate in Cambridge tonight".

"I invite her to go to Cambridge and debate her policies, debate their record, debate their plans, debate their proposals and let the public make up their mind".

Corbyn added that the future of the NHS is at stake with patients suffering longer waiting times and hospitals at risk of closure.

The PM said she wanted to speak directly to voters and answer their questions rather than "squabbling" with other party leaders.

Come on Prime Minister, come and have a chat.

"I have never been afraid of a debate in my life".

The rally will still be going ahead with a speech from Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.

"Theresa May called this election because she is taking you for granted".

Green party co-leader Caroline Lucas said: "I think the first rule of leadership is to show up. She won't turn up to these debates because her campaign of soundbites is falling apart", she said.

Liberal Democrat former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has also branded the Tory move "cynical", claiming it would offer just 7p's worth of food for each child - the equivalent of half a boiled egg, one slice of bread with 12 baked beans or 37.5 cornflakes and 100ml of semi-skimmed milk.

He also criticised the Tories for what he called "a stage-managed arms-length campaign".

"Support for Labour among younger voters has gone up, and gone up dramatically, but then the crucial question is whether these young people will come out to vote", said John Curtice, a leading psephologist who is president of the British Polling Council.

So who won, and did Jeremy Corbyn's gambit pay off?

Another, Mandy Robinson, replied to say she had cancelled plans to attend. "I made a sign and everything". However, the left-winger dramatically U-turn on the vow and took part in the BBC debate.

Alongside figures from the Lib Dems, Ukip, the Greens, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, he faced down not Theresa May - who Mr Corbyn accused of "weakness" for refusing to debate him - but Amber Rudd, Mrs May's replacement as Home Secretary.

Most striking, though, was an estimate of the likely result of the election in Wednesday's edition of The Times of London, compiled by YouGov with an innovative analysis of 50,000 interviews of 7,000 people over seven days. Mr Farron said. "The Prime Minister is not here tonight".

A Conservative source said: "The public want to see a leader who can stare down the EU-27 at the negotiation table, not someone who will need their iPad to remember their dodgy facts in a debate".



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